Update: See below
Microsoft has introduced 'People Powered Stories' (PPS) into its social advertising solution and brings ratings and reviews into brand advertising.
Jennifer Creegan, General Manager of display advertising experiences at Microsoft announced the social advertising solution at Social Media Week in New York.
In addition to delivering relevant ads to customers, PPS will incorporate ratings and user generated comments directly into the ad.
PPS is the first set of opportunities for advertisers around the social ecosystem. Advertisers can take real consumer stories and add them to the targeted brand campaign. PPS will enable them to tell a much more 'thoughtful and rich story'.
Microsoft is centring its efforts on consumer approach and need. It is looking at what the customer needs and how he is engaging with digital in new ways. It is partnering with Bazaarvoice who power billions of ratings and reviews across the web.
As Creegan says, it is a big sea change. We are engaging with each other in different ways. We keep in contact with casual acquaintances that we would not have done 10 years ago.
She believes that social advertising will help advertisers go 'beyond the like'. With 72% of marketers believing that social ROI is too hard to measure, this could be a really good initiative.
Missing the audience?65% of Marketers currently believe that word of mouth marketing misses the target audience. We go to social networks if we are making a personal decision but when we decide to buy something, only 10% of us go to social networking sites first.
It's not just about HTML based ads either.
Location based information gives instant gratification for mobile users. Customers can make decisions on the fly to get the information they need without having to go back to their desk to get the information. Decisions can be made wherever or whenever.
Purchasing decisionsWith 45% of users visiting ratings and review sites before they make a commercial buying decision, this move by Microsoft Advertising makes sense. 73% of Marketers think that they could do a better job of reaching their target audience if they could access ratings and reviews.
It makes sense for brands with highly engaged fans to take advantage of this. Brands can tell their stories and consumers who love the brand can also tell their story directly within the ad.
Creegan says it brings 'authenticity to the ad and the ratings and reviews brings the consumer what they need. This gives the advertiser what they need which is better engagement and ROI'.
The challenge for some brands is to ensure that they monitor campaigns carefully before a co-ordinated brandjacking attack undoes all that great work..
The PR team working with Bazaarvoice mentioned that my comment ' Bazaarvoice powers billions of ratings and reviews across the web' was not quite accurate. Instead, it "power(s) billions of impressions of UGC that includes ratings, reviews, questions, answers and stories". Therefore the video at 1:08 here is also incorrect.
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